Friday April 26, 2013 : NEW YORK GAMBLING RING BUST CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM (Update)
Billionaire hedge fund manager declined ambassadorial appointment due to links with defendant
The New York Post reported Friday that billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry has turned down a US ambassadorial post in France due to his association with an allegedly Russian organised crime gambling ring busted by federal agents last week.
Lasry manages the $12 billion hedge fund Avenue Capital, and is reportedly a friend of one of the major figures in the gambling bust, Illya Trincher, who was arrested with 34 others on a variety of charges arising from high stakes poker games and internet sports betting activity.
A source told the newspaper that Lasry had turned down President Obama's ambassadorial invitation shortly after the White House asked the FBI to investigate whether Lasry had any ties to criminal enterprises. During the probe, the FBI uncovered Lasry's penchant for high-stakes poker games, according to sources.
"Marc Lasry is a big-time gambler, in golf and poker. He's a ‘master of the universe' type," a source told the Post. "It's not that he committed a crime, but it opens a can of worms."
Lasry, a long-standing Democratic Party supporter and fund raiser, apparently told investors in a letter this week that he had turned down the appointment but was grateful that he had been considered.
Back in 2011 Lasry and casino and hotel mogul Donald Trump were reported to be in talks with gambling companies with a view to starting an online poker enterprise. The talks did not appear to bear fruit and speculation died in 2012.